Towards an issues-based 2020 election (46)

===2020 Big Picture===
LA Governor
Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards stuns GOP, wins reelection to a second term as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor.

Trump had visited Louisiana three times in five weeks to support Republican challenger
Eddie Rispone in the runoff and still, Democrat John Bel Edwards won in a state that
Trump carried in 2016 by nearly 20 percentage points


Compare / Contrast…
Atticus v. The Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman


“…’The Democrats are moving left. Will America follow?’
…America is already there..On most progressive policies, Democrats’ [have] simply moved…
closer to where America was all along.” -@hshierholz @EconomicPolicy

Hanauer: Democrats Must Reclaim the Center … by Moving Hard Left
America needs a centrist party that actually represents the economic center,
not just zillionaires like me.

CEPR’s new report compares rental housing policies expressed by most of the 2020 presidential candidates & outlines current funding levels of selected federal housing & homelessness programs.

Just announced…
Green New Deal For Public Housing

“The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act [by @AOC and @BernieSanders], would
use seven grant programs to upgrade housing units into carbon-neutral communities
with organic grocery stores, on-site child care and community gardens.”

Infographic: Food Deserts In America

I learned from @hmcghee that when swimming pools were forced to integrate, many
white politicians drained and closed down the pools altogether – a disturbing metaphor
for what happened to everything “public” since the 1970s, including housing.

Seems relevant that the despite all the attacks on Medicare for All the general election fundamentals on health care haven’t changed very much.

It really is amazing the Dems have not made the soaring cost of health insurance under Trump into an issue.

Question: Too busy trying to convince their base that they can’t have single payer insurance?


Trump has now appointed 1/4th of the Circuit courts. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 86 years old.
Are Democrats running for President going to start talk about this? Or will they continue to refuse to fight for a progressive Court? My latest in @thenation

Ad: When politicians resort to blaming immigrants, you know they’ve run out of ideas

Baker: Impeachment Is a Kitchen Table Issue

For the folks whining that whistleblower has to testify, and making trial analogies,
there are an awful lot of people who call 911 who don’t testify at the trial


Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy

Here’s the thing: If you take massive amounts of money from the health insurance industry and pharma, you are not likely to challenge the power brokers to fix the healthcare system. If U take massive amounts of money from @facebook U R not likely to confront their threat to democracy

If you take massive amounts of campaign donations from big banks and hedge fund
managers and the Wall Street elite, you are not going to protect people from a rapacious
financial industry.

If you take massive amounts of money from fossil fuel and/or coal execs,
you are not going to address the climate catastrophe head on. It’s that simple.
@PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden are who their donors are. And they are *the* elitists

Ninety-six percent of Democratic voters are happy with their choices and the Dem field writ large. But billionaires and those who work for them see a yawning gap…

First, billionaire Tom Steyer.
Then, even richer billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Today, it’s Deval Patrick, who has worked for:
– Texaco
– Coca-Cola
– Subprime mortgage lender ACC Capital Holdings
– Bain Capital (current)

Deval Patrick, Foreclosure Mogul
How the 2020 Democratic presidential contender
helped a Republican billionaire rip off the middle class.

The last time that @DevalPatrick considered a presidential run, he called it off one day
after this @zachdcarter report was published. He may be hoping that you forgot that he
made money helping a GOP billionaire rip off black middle-class folks. I didn’t.

We made this to explain how Mitt Romney got rich at Bain Capital, but now that Deval
Patrick wants to be president, it’s worth another look. Here’s Tony Soprano explaining
how Bain makes its money: (video)


As Deval Patrick draws comparisons to Obama, some people have amnesia about his
’08 primary campaign. Obama didn’t just run as a “unity” candidate. He also ran as a
populist outsider criticizing Hillary over trade, Iraq, & her ties to corporate America: (video)

Deval Patrick says he’ll take Super PAC cash to ‘catch up’

.@BernieSanders to NBC’s @shaqbrewster: “It’s nothing personal with Bloomberg.
I think the American people are sick and tired of billionaires continuing to have so much
influence over the economic life of this country and the political life of this country.” (video)


Call me radical, but maybe instead of setting ablaze hundreds of millions of dollars
on multiple plutocratic, long-shot, very-late presidential bids, we instead invest hundreds
of millions into winning majorities of state legislatures across the United States?
Just a thought!

===2020 Issues===
See referenced comment (Spanish)
Electric buses in Bogota (Colombia)! Today’s moment of hope

See chart, rest of thread…
Sneak peak for how 2019 is shaping up compared to climate model projections.

Climate is a biodiversity issue. Climate is an agricultural issue. Climate is a race issue. Climate is an immigration issue. Climate is a healthcare issue. Climate is a disability issue. Climate is a human rights issue. Climate is an economic issue.
Climate is everything. (So where’s Congress?)

Climate Whiplash: Wild Swings in Extreme Weather Are on the Rise

How the Climate Crisis is Killing Us, in 9 Alarming Charts
A new report from over 100 experts paints a devastating picture of how climate change is already imperiling human health


How the Pentagon Thinks About the Climate Crisis

Countries have called California’s cap-and-trade program the answer to climate change. But it is just as vulnerable to lobbying as any other legislation. The result: The state’s biggest oil and gas companies have actually polluted more since it started.


Ranked Choice Voting  ‘Allows You to Vote for the Person You Really Like’

See map…
More research showing that increasing min wage doesn’t reduce jobs overall. “Fed research suggested higher minimum wages did not cost jobs in border counties. Industry-level analysis and real-life stories back that up”

Some Of The Worst Racial Disparities Between Blacks & Whites Exist In Midwest, Report Says

CBPP Essay: SNAP’s Powerful Effects, Ways to Improve It


Tax Policies Fuel Wealth Inequality

Baker rebuts Trump Jr (page up)…

Quick thoughts on whether we should have billionaires

It is striking to see that the calculations of what Jeff Bezos wealth would be today if he had to pay a wealth tax the last two decades

A far more interesting calculation would be his wealth if Amazon had been required to
collect sales taxes over the last two decades (including on sales of affiliates,
which it still does not do)

If it is not obvious, the point is that there was zero rationale for exempting Amazon and
other Internet retailers from the obligation to collect sales tax. This was hugely important
to its growth and Jeff Bezos’ wealth.

My latest for @NYTOpinion: Multi-billion dollar fortunes aren’t just excessive or decadent. They’re anti-democratic and will destroy democracy. I explain why here.

CBPP: Substantial Income of Wealthy Households Escapes Annual Taxation Or Enjoys Special Tax Breaks
Reform Is Needed


CBPP: Taxing High Incomes, Large Fortunes More Effectively; Reform is Needed

CBPP: Ensuring That Massachusetts Corporations Pay Their Fair Share

CBPP: Why the Federal Government Should Support Puerto Rico’s New EITC

CBPP Context – JCT Estimates:
Final GOP Tax Bill Skewed to Top, Hurts Many Low- and Middle-Income Americans

Note: Want revenue? Repeal the GOP tax cut! Don’t play the austerity card, again.

Baker Context: Getting Serious About Debt and Deficits:
The Deficit Hawks Did Enormous Harm to Our Kids

In short, there seems little basis for the deficit hawks’ concerns about debt and deficits. If the Democrats retake Congress, and try to push for increased spending on health care, education, and other areas of social spending, the deficit hawks will likely be appearing frequently in major news outlets. Remember not to take them seriously.

Hartmann’s Related:

CBPP Context: Automatic Reconciliation an Undesirable Part of Enzi-Whitehouse Budget
Process Bill Could Drive Harmful Budget Cuts, Unsound Economic Policy

Enzi’s (R-WY) bill has 17 cosponsors. Four are Ds…
Whitehouse (D-RI), Kaine (D-VA), Coons (D-DE) & Warner (D-VA)

Republicans Propose Automatic Cuts to Critical Programs – and Democrats Help Them
A bipartisan budget proposal would set up a reflexive process
to reduce spending above a projected threshold.

Note: Three of the 4 (all but Whitehouse) voted to deregulate Wall Street. …

2018: Democrats Who Voted to Deregulate Wall Street
(tended to be) Wiped Out in a Setback for Bank Lobbyists

Senate and House Votes

France Announces Tough New Measures on Immigration
With municipal elections approaching, President Emmanuel Macron
hopes stricter stance will lure voters away from the far right.

Note: Like many EU leaders Macron is a neoliberal austerian. Poverty sends people into the far right’s arms.


Nancy Pelosi says a USMCA trade deal breakthrough could be ‘imminent’

Petition: We urge you to delay a vote on a new NAFTA 2.0 until provisions giving Big Pharma
a monopoly on biologics, an important form of pharmaceutical, are removed — and provisions
on labor and the environment are strengthened.

ISDS (i.e. corporate court) was in the original draft…
More Information on Investor-State Dispute Settlement


Appears they’ve been modified but *not* removed…
Why does the measure disappear with Canada but not Mexico

Health Care Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries

The United States spent approximately twice as much as other high-income countries on medical care, yet utilization rates in the United States were largely similar to those in other nations. Prices of labor and goods, including pharmaceuticals, and administrative costs appeared to be the major drivers of the difference in overall cost between the United States and other high-income countries. As patients, physicians, policy makers, and legislators actively debate the future of the US health system, data such as these are needed to inform policy decisions.

White House Unveils Finalized Health Care Price Transparency Rule


CBPP: Accuracy of Medicaid Eligibility Determinations
Should Also Ensure That Eligible People Are Enrolled

A reminder that when Canadians were asked to name the greatest person in their entire country’s history, they voted for the dude who spearheaded their Medicare for All.


The Medicare For All debate isnt a policy debate, because we know most other industrialized countries cover all their people & achieve better outcomes for lower costs.
The Medicare for All debate is a political debate between a grassroots “yes we can” & a moneyed “no we can’t.”

Note: It is a policy debate with respect to identifying the best transition strategy. But the candidates who’ve been misrepresenting M4A appear not to be interested in that debate.

See chart…
People often point out that other countries still have private insurance, which is true, but it’s remarkable what a marginal role private spending play, even in countries with multi-payer systems

Getting to German levels of public spending (often portrayed as a moderate alternative
to full single payer) would entail spending $1.5+ trillion more per year


Even a Modest Co-Payment Can Cause People to Skip Drug Doses

Quick thoughts on medical co-pays: Drugs – no, Doctors visits – yes

Good thoughts. Also we probably don’t overutilize meaningfully in US anyways
so the whole concern is overblown

Given that a person’s healthcare spending increases with age (and at a rapidly rising
pace), this chart, which notes that the over 65 pop of the US is the lowest of its peers,
suggests that age-adjusted spending in the US, & the trajectory going forward, are even
worse than assumed

This is a very important point, which is generally not noted. While we already spend twice
as much per person on our health care as the OECD average, on an age adjusted basis
we would be much worse, since many countries (e.g. Japan and Germany) have
considerably older populations

See chart…
As countries get wealthier, air pollution at first gets worse, and then starts to decline (as support for pollution controls gain traction and more people have agency). Great figure from the Economist:

Air Pollution Increases Under Trump After 7-Year Decline

2018: President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment is Affecting Communities
In just two years, Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback
with little parallel in the past half-century

Note: The GOP controlled everything during Trump’s first two years in office and together they did a whole lot of damage.

2017: 78 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could lead to at least 80,000 extra deaths per decade and cause respiratory problems for more than one million people, according to a separate analysis conducted by researchers from Harvard. That number, however, is likely to be “a major underestimate of the global public health impact,” said Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Columbia Law School Climate Deregulation Tracker Actions

Harvard’s Regulatory Rollback Tracker

The Republican Congress’s CRA deregulation…
GW’s Columbian College of Arts & Sciences Congressional Review Act Tracker

‘Deregulation’ is a lie
Republicans aren’t reducing red tape, they’re weaponizing it.

At a Time of Rising US Anti-Semitism,
Remembering the Nazis’ Night of Broken Glass is More Important than Ever

Sanders Has Denounced (Bolivian) Coup,
But Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg So Far Silent on Overthrow of Bolivia’s Morales

Here is GDP per capita of Bolivia since 2000.

The Anez government in Bolivia has just emitted a decree exempting the military of any
legal responsibility for abuses committed during repression. License to kill.

Thread on Bolivan coup backers’ actions

Lots of US headline writers oddly avoiding the term “coup” to describe a country’s military
leaders forcing its president and Vice President to resign.

Western Media Whitewash Bolivia’s Far-Right Coup

Guess who WaPo blames for the backlash…

As Lula Emerges From Prison, US Media Ignore How Washington Helped Put Him There

June: Glenn Greenwald on the Leaked Brazil Archive Exposing Operation Car Wash

Missed Opportunity to Recall a Day to ‘Perpetuate Peace’

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies: FDD…
Excellent review of abuse of sanctions, from @defpriorities . Once used with our allies against outlaw regimes, we now use them against allies to bend them to our policies. This idea, popularize by FDD and other regime-change advocates, has failed.

How International Sanctions on North Korea Harm Women & Prevent Humanitarian Aid

Trump’s Debacle in the Desert: A Post Mortem on the Kurdish-American Military Alliance (1941-2019)

The abandoned Kurds … threw vegetables at the retreating American convoys flying the Stars and Stripes. …

  Comment on yet another Trump Big Kurdish Lies…


Israeli attacks: All the latest updates
Israel pounds Gaza for a second day in most violent assault in months
as UN envoy heads to Cairo for mediation talks.

Israeli forces have killed a top Islamic Jihad commander in an air raid on his home in Gaza City, unleashing a new spiral of violence.

Shortly after the attack on Tuesday morning that killed Bahaa Abu al-Ata and his wife, salvos of rockets were launched from Palestinian groups in the besieged Gaza Strip into Israel.

In response to the rocket barrage, Israel launched dozens of air raids on Gaza. So far, 32 Palestinians have been killed in the bombardment, according to health officials and medics.

  In the past 48 hours,
Israelis killed: 0
Palestinians killed: 32

Israel’s army admits killing 8 civilians from one family in an airstrike in #Gaza on
Wednesday, including 5 children. “We thought the house was empty” says the Army.
The family were sheep herders, not Islamic Jihad militants.

Iran isn’t dashing toward a bomb – for now

Reckoning with the costs of war: It’s time to take responsibility

The So-Called War on Terror Has Killed Over 801,000 People and Cost $6.4 Trillion:

===2020 Watch List===
SANS: Britain’s Labour political party was the target of two back-to-back distributed denial-of-service attacks this week in what the party called a “sophisticated and large-scale” attempt to disrupt their operations.


This Private Equity Firm Now Runs A Political Action Committee
The Carlyle Group’s employees contributed $130,540 to its newly-formed PAC this year.

Critique of NYT polling article…


===2020 Watch List-Bias===
When MSNBC’s primetime pundits do cover Bernie Sanders, they cover him more negatively than Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. An investigation by @BMarchetich


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Cory Booker… Feb 1st
When MSNBC’s primetime pundits do cover Bernie Sanders, they cover him more negatively than Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. An investigation by @BMarchetich

Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
My First Term Plan for Reducing Health Care Costs in America and Transitioning to Medicare for All

Warren’s Thread

Baker: Elizabeth Warren Goes for the Big Bucks on Prescription Drugs

Margot Sanger-Katz has a very useful Upshot piece on Elizabeth Warren’s transition plan for Medicare for All, highlighting steps that the president can take unilaterally. The piece mentioned that one of these proposals is to take advantage of current law, which allows the government to effectively end patent monopolies on drugs that it helped to develop.

This is a really huge deal since the vast majority of drugs do include a government research component. Ending a patent monopoly will typically reduce the price of a drug by 90 percent or more. Drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. Without government granted patent monopolies, paying for prescription drugs would no longer be a major problem.

If the government were to go this route on a large scale, it would undoubtedly lead to a drop in research funded by the industry. Warren has proposed some additional public funding to make up a shortfall, although we are likely to need more than she has suggested.

However, a great advantage of publicly funded research is that it could all be fully open so that other researchers and clinicians would be able to benefit from it. Also, we would end the incentive to misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of drugs, substantially reducing the risk of another opioid-type crisis.

  .@ewarren’s transition plan reaffirms her commitment to the four-year transition plan
outlined in the Senate #MedicareForAll Bill. It lays out how she’d use exec & administrative
authority to take on for-profit insurers & begin providing relief to the American people on Day 1.

Rest of Jayapal’s Thread

Ends with…
.@ewarren’s transition plan is one smart approach to take on Big Pharma & private for-
profit insurance companies, & gets us to #MedicareForAll that covers everyone with
comprehensive care in four years.

Ryan Grim appears to have overstated Jayapal’s commitment.

Note: Baker said Bernie’s transition approach would create inflation. Hear Warren out, wait for the economic analysis and Sanders’ response before jumping to conclusions.

I’m for the best transition strategy. Are you?
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
Scientists have told us we must take action immediately to avoid climate catastrophe.
A Green New Deal is not “radical,” “unrealistic,” or “too expensive.”
It is what is absolutely necessary.

The future is radical.
Radical physical changes to our planet *or* deep political/ economic changes to avoid
those dire outcomes. Journos who have built careers cultivating “serious centrist”
personas will be the last ones able to grasp this. We have to work around them.

Thread on NYT piece…


In my first week as president, we will introduce Medicare for All legislation.

Sanders’ record…
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
Just listened to @JerryBrownGov interview @PeteButtigieg on nuclear policy and national security. Honestly? Mayor Pete sounded weak & vague on nuclear issues. He’s much more specific on climate change, with detailed plan. No nuke plan.

Pete Buttigieg Touted Three Major Supporters of His Douglass Plan for Black America. They Were Alarmed When They Saw It. “It’s presumptuous to think you can come up with a plan for black America without hearing from black folk.”


Thread begins…
Pete Buttigieg was for single-payer, Medicare for All before he was against it. Here we go:

Response to above thread
This whole exchange is fascinating because Pete’s staff posted a transcript showing
he said exactly what his critics are saying he said, but dramatically decried the criticism
as “disinformation” and I guess hoped that… no one would read the transcript?

Oct: As He Attacks Medicare for All,
(Buttigieg) Gets Campaign Cash From Health Care Executives
Buttigieg’s recent transformation into explicit Medicare for All critic was accompanied by
continued donations from pharmaceutical and health insurance interests.

Not a single progressive union or org that is a leader in the fight for #MedicareForAll
encouraged politicians to endorse a vague “concept” of M4A in 2018. We specifically
encouraged supporting @SenSanders bill, and #HR676 (the precursor to #HR1384.)

Pete Buttigieg’s Work at McKinsey Is A Secret

…McKinsey is intensely secretive about what it actually does with its clients; Buttigieg
campaign says he’s asked the firm to release him from his NDA so he can talk about
what he did there.

Pete Buttigieg’s McKinsey Faces Criminal Inquiry Over Bankruptcy Case Conduct

March: All About Pete
Joe Biden… April 25th
As a senator from Delaware, Joe Biden cast key votes that deregulated the banking industry, made it harder for individuals to escape their credit card debts and student loans, and protected his state’s status as a corporate bankruptcy hub.

It’s wild to recall how Hillary Clinton’s vote for the bankruptcy bill was a central part of Obama’s argument against her. Joe Biden was a much bigger architect of that bill than she was and it’s barely been discussed this election cycle. (video)

Repeat for context…
Warren’s comment… (video)

Biden’s response twists Warren’s words like a pretzal presumably to avoid responding
to her valid points. He played the (they’re) elitist, (he’s the) mature-candidate and
no-attacks cards after repeatedly lying about M4A

Biden repeated this line of attack on the road…

The irony is that both Sanders and Warren seemed content to run positive campaigns
and not attack Biden or other moderates as shills or whatever, but the centrists went
on the offensive first.

Yes, there is an irony in Biden (a senator for 36 years & VP for 8 who flies in private jets,
stays in fancy hotels and fundraises off millionaires) to level the elitism attack at the
candidate fueled by small-dollar donors. Joe’s not so middle class

See text graphic…
One thing missing in this story is that Joe Biden is part of a generation of Democrats
who thought that New Deal and Great Society liberalism had gone “too far.” Biden literally
accused his fellow Democrats of “intellectual snobbism” all the way back to the 1984

Biden on his liberalism

All that is context for Biden continuing his attacks…
To my old friend Joe Biden: this elitist attack on Elizabeth Warren
is what Republicans have been saying about Democrats for 50 years.

A response to Biden’s trust Republicans comment…

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine gas firm pressed Obama administration
to end corruption allegations, memos show

Thread on NYT error / correction

A Timeline Of Joe Biden’s Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine
Andrew Yang… Nov, 2017
See charts…
Andrew Yang can you please just stop with the robot apocalypse scaremongering! It is a huge distraction from real problems. Time to re-up this snapshot updated charts …

Baker: Making Andrew Yang Smarter

Michael Bloomberg… ???
“I was wrong, and I am sorry.” At a black church in New York, Michael Bloomberg apologized for the “stop-and-frisk” policing he defended as mayor.

Under Bloomberg, NYPD increased stop and frisk from 100,000 stops to nearly 700,000
stops per year. 90% of those impacted were people of color – overwhelmingly black and
brown men. Bloomberg personally has the money to begin paying reparations for this harm.
“Sorry” isn’t enough.

2016 Brennan Center Fact Sheet
Statistically, no relationship between stop-and-frisk and crime seems apparent.
New York remains safer than it was 5, 10, or 25 years ago.

2018: In New York, Crime Falls Along With Police Stops
Police have radically cut back their use of stop-and-frisk policies.
To the surprise of some, crime didn’t spike, but tumbled yet again.

===US Constitution Party===
Don Blankenship… November 11th
Former coal exec Don Blankenship launches third-party presidential bid

Massey Energy’s Negligence Led to Mine Blast, Study Finds

Massey Energy Mine Cited for 1,300+ Safety Violations
in Years Leading up to Deadly Explosion

Massey Faked Reports Ahead of 2010 Fatal Mine Blast, U.S. Says

Previously ran for WV US Senate…
Can the Most Hated Man in West Virginia Win?
Don Blankenship went to prison after the deaths of 29 of his miners.
For some Republicans, that’s the beginning of a successful Senate campaign.

Mark Sanford…September 8th
@MarkSanford has ended his 2020 bid for U.S. president.
Donald Trump
See referenced comment…
*Read the Transcript!*


Note: The President’s health is our business

See referenced comment…
Their lack of credibility and the ensuing not-knowing is not something you write around, it’s what you write: Trump taken to hospital in unscheduled visit; White House has no credible explanation; leaving legitimate concerns of a serious medical problem.

Trump’s Anti-Climate Agenda Bolsters his Ambitions for “Freedom Gas”

Environmental Impacts of Natural Gas

In its effort to sell the lease to the Trump Int’l Hotel in D.C., the Trump Org. put together an investor brochure. The hotel’s biggest selling point is the one thing the Trump family insists it didn’t take advantage of: profiting off foreign governments.

Sen. Udall and three other senators asked the Trump Org. to answer questions “central to understanding Trump’s conflicts of interest with Turkey.” Udall now says the Trump Org. gave an “incomplete reply” that “fails to answer the major questions posed.”

Trump allies received hundreds of thousands of dollars under federal health contract
Campaign, White House veterans were among 40 PR consultants on a $2.25 million contract.

Responding to comment…
Actually, the trade deficit is increasing and manufacturing employment hit a record low share of total employment last month

Prices of goods imported from China are down just 1.6 percent over the last year Still doesn’t look like they are paying the tariffs

See comment…
This “highlight” is entirely false. Trump’s own Council of Economic Advisers noted in 2018 that the US had won 86% of the WTO cases it had brought since 1995, slightly above the global average. The US isn’t suddenly winning because the WTO is afraid of Trump pulling out.

Trade Assistance Payments Disproportionately Benefitted Large-Scale and Southeastern Operations

Table on page 9: Number of Farms, Land in Farms, and Average Farm Size
States and United States: 2017-2018

Note: USDA chief Sonny Purdue used to be Georgia’s governor. GA received the most money yet doesn’t have the most farms, most land in farms or largest average farm size.

USDA to Issue Second Round of Trade Assistance; NFU Urges Solutions to Program’s Inequities

Government role in going after Gliead on Truvada is not what it seems. It wants to promote evergreen patents

#CPI health insurance costs jump 2.2 percent in October, up 20.1 percent over the last year. …


That’s a stunning rise in health insurance costs under trump

Sabotage Watch: Tracking Efforts to Undermine the ACA
President Trump has said that, politically, the best thing to do would be to let the Affordable
Care Act (ACA) “explode.” This timeline tracks Administration actions that would sabotage
the ACA by destabilizing private insurance markets or reversing the law’s historic gains
in health coverage.

Potential African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak…
Neglecting agricultural research leaves a livestock body count

Most of the U.S. agricultural sector is in dire straits from a lethal trifecta of “adverse weather, weak commodity prices and trade disruptions,” according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Farm bankruptcies are up 24 percent over last year. But pork production has been doing Ok – for now.

The real imperative – since a decade ago, when an ASF viral outbreak in Eastern Europe spiraled out of control – has been to find a way to prevent transmission or cure the infection before it spreads. Right now, we have no answers except to slaughter hundreds of millions of pigs. And finding the funding for such critical research needs has gotten harder and harder every year.

In 1940, the federal government channeled almost 40 percent of its entire investment in research and development to the agricultural sciences. Today, U.S. agricultural research funding represents less than 2 percent of the total, and farmers have to depend on geography – not science – to keep their livestock safe.

New EPA Rules Aim to Reduce Toxic Emissions. But Many “Cancer Alley” Chemical Plants Won’t Have to Change. The proposed rules reducing emissions across the country would not apply to many of Louisiana’s chemical plants. These facilities release tons of dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals like ethylene oxide, and more plants are on the way.

Thread: Today, a group of Veterans was forced to celebrate #VeteransDay in Mexico because our nation’s government deported them, forbidding them from setting foot in the nation they risked their lives to defend.

$2M in damages. Last week, a NY judge ordered President @realdonaldtrump to pay $2 million in damages, because the president misused a charity’s money to buy things for himself.
Read more here:

…I wonder if #veterans know that the “fundraiser” he held for them in Jan 2016 was
actually a campaign event, and the proceeds went into his campaign bank account
He admitted it

The Republican National Committee will hold its winter meetings at Trump’s Doral golf course in Florida next year – awarding another of the party’s most lucrative events to Trump’s private business.

The Trump Organization has agreed to pay $290,000 to the Scottish government, ending a multiyear legal battle in which Donald Trump tried and failed to block an offshore wind farm from being built in view of one of his Scottish golf courses.

The search for a G-7 site started with 10 options. Secret service narrowed it down to 4. Then they were told to axe 2 and add a new finalist: @realdonaldtrump’s own Doral resort.

Margot Sanger-Katz has a very useful Upshot piece on Elizabeth Warren’s transition plan for Medicare for All, highlighting steps that the president can take unilaterally. The piece mentioned that one of these proposals is to take advantage of current law, which allows the government to effectively end patent monopolies on drugs that it helped to develop.

This is a really huge deal since the vast majority of drugs do include a government research component. Ending a patent monopoly will typically reduce the price of a drug by 90 percent or more. Drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. Without government granted patent monopolies, paying for prescription drugs would no longer be a major problem.

If the government were to go this route on a large scale, it would undoubtedly lead to a drop in research funded by the industry. Warren has proposed some additional public funding to make up a shortfall, although we are likely to need more than she has suggested.

However, a great advantage of publicly funded research is that it could all be fully open so that other researchers and clinicians would be able to benefit from it. Also, we would end the incentive to misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of drugs, substantially reducing the risk of another opioid-type crisis.

Dean Baker in “Elizabeth Warren Goes for the Big Bucks on Prescription Drugs”

Warren’s M4A transition plan:

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